Monday, July 1, 2013

FIVE AND THEN SOME

Yeah. I’m the kind of guy who forgets an anniversary.

I let the day marking nine years being single pass right by without playing a song by Linda RonstadtEric Carmen or Gilbert O’Sullivan.

Today marks twenty-eight years of being a vegetarian, but I only stumbled upon that fact as I began writing this. I have no special plans with tofu tonight (not that I ever do!).

Mid-June marked the fifth anniversary of my Rural Gay blog. That is indeed a milestone. I began with a short post explaining my love for quieter, scenic surroundings but ruing the fact that I was losing my gay identity. My thoughts are as true today as they were then.

I felt the blog provided an original point of view—what middle-aged fool goes from urban to rural as a single gay man? What compelled me to play The Opposite Game? Isn’t it a law of nature that all small town gays must move to the city as soon as they attain some semblance of independence? Aren’t the suburban and nether-land gays the ones who have found a partner and want to explore gardening and daily nature walks? I’ve discovered that we fools are few and far between, but I am not alone, at least not in spirit.

Five years ago, blogging was new to me. I didn’t really get it. I’d write something, post it and then nothing would happen. Did anyone read it? I figured it was my online journal—if nothing else, a way to save paper as I worked through random, often self-absorbed thoughts.

It took sixteen months before I received my first comment. Eureka! A reader! Comments have come sporadically since then, but they’ve never been as much as I’d hoped. I wanted the blog to be a meeting place, particularly for other remote gay men, a way for them (and myself) to feel connected and to reaffirm whatever it is that makes us gay.

Eventually I got a Twitter account, using the Rural Gay name and it has proven to be a better connection to The Disconnecteds. I’ve also received far more feedback regarding my posts through Twitter. I suppose a quick Tweet is easier than posting a comment under an account and affirming you are not a Spambot by typing one or two blurry, usually nonsensical “words”.

My greatest dilemma in keeping the blog current is having something to say. If I want, I can Tweet about cutting my toenails or burning a piece of toast. These “events” are not blog-worthy. (Really, they shouldn’t be Tweet-able either but there are thousands of people who lack Twitter sense. I’m talking to you, ArizonaDaredevil4. I don’t care which McDonald’s you are at for lunch.) A key aspect of being Rural Gay is that nothing much gay happens. Perhaps the blog concept was inherently flawed. Still, I’ve somehow managed to write 227 posts. My apologies for the more inane ones. Rest assured, I’ve rejected even duller ideas!

A few years ago, I decided I needed to abandon rural living. I needed the sound of sirens, I’d come to appreciate traffic lights and, yes, I wanted to eat at restaurants that featured a single cuisine. (Still haven’t tried the Greek/Indian/pizza place in my neighboring town.) With the house up for sale, I figured the blog’s days were numbered. I’d go from “Rural Gay” to “Gay”, maybe even with a celebratory exclamation mark. As one of many urban gays, my life would be happily unbloggable.

And yet I blog on. The house is off the market. I’m here to stay for the foreseeable future. The blog has gone from Is anybody out there? to a modest but growing 3,000 visitors a month. I am glad you are with me, Dear Reader. Even when you lurk in silence and are nothing more than a number on my blog count, you provide me an audience which is what every writer desires. More importantly, you make me feel less alone, more connected and a part of something bigger.

Thank you for reading. I am immensely grateful!

4 comments:

canoetoo said...

I do so wish you would win a lottery or inherit a considerable sum of money and be able to leave that god-forsaken island. Your commute sounds brutally long. When I told friends I was leaving to live on Vancouver Island, some asked: "How do you feel about living on an island?" I thought about it and my response was: "Well, it's a very big island." But I couldn't imagine having to commute from your island.

That said I want you to know that I always look forward to reading your blog postings. Your writing is witty and self-deprecating and I can identify with many of the things you write about.

It's Pride Week here in Victoria and I just got back from the Drag Ballgame ... drag queens running the bases in five inch heels is a sight to behold. In any event, looking around at the crowd I kept thinking: "When did everyone get to be so young?"

Looking forward to your posts from West Hollywood.

Rural Gay said...

Hi CT!

Oh, I would be laughing hysterically at a Drag Ballgame. That's my kind of baseball!

It's true how young people are getting these days. Surely we're not getting older! Of course, when I say I pine for Roch Voisine and get blank looks, I know I'm kidding myself. Sigh.

As always, thanks for reading the blog. I appreciate the comments you leave as well.

I sure hope I can find something to blog about in WeHo! If not, a sigh won't be enough to express my disappointment...

Wordschat said...

From the wind swept view of Parliament Hill Ottawa to the vast Vancouver Pacific coast a happy five years of blogging Rural Gay. I found you through Twitter. While we as middle agers and not of the supposed happening gay villages in Montreal or Toronto; we do quite nicely thank you. We are as diverse from Arnprior to PEI, some brave ones in Alberta and beyond. Keep chatting good man, keep at it.

Rural Gay said...

Hey, WC! Fun to exchange tweets with you and I truly appreciate your comments here as well.

As I carry on with bigger writing projects that may or may not get published, the interaction with readers here is highly valued and helps me feel more connected as a gay man and as a writer.